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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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I accidentally jammed a q-tip in my ear. There was no blood

Customer Question

I accidentally jammed a q-tip in my ear. There was no blood just throbbing pain, and the pain ended within 5 minutes. I went through my day feeling a dull soreness and slightly sensitive to noise. As day has progressed, the soreness is more obvious. Hearing is a bit dull, like the day after a loud concert on injuried ear. Generally hearing is fine though. DO you have any advice? I cannot afford to go to the doctor. Don't have medical insurance.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Family Physician replied 8 years ago.

There are several possible causes for this sudden pain and change in your hearing. The most serious of these would be an actual trauma to the eardrum - causing a tear or hole in the eardrum and possibly damage to the very tiny bones in the inner ear.

The other possibility would be that wax in the ear canal has been jammed up against the ear drum.

While I understand and appreciate your financial issues with seeking medical attention, you really DON'T want to suffer permanent hearing loss because you ignore this potentially serious medical problem.

An emergency room (which is required to screen you for an emergency medical condition without regard to your ability to pay), an urgent care clinic or a freee clinic all would be possible sources of treatment.

This link would help you find a free clinic in your area:

PLEASE do not ignore this potentially serious problem.
Family Physician and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I appreciate this resource, but I need to know if their is anything specific I can do or not do to take care of my ear before I can see a doctor. What you have said is congruent with stuff I have read when researching ear damage. Can I take a shower, or should I apply warm compresses to soothe soreness?
Expert:  Family Physician replied 8 years ago.
I'm sorry for the delay in answering your follow up question - Unfortunately, without knowing if there may be a perforation of the ear drum, it would be dangerous to suggest using ear wax removal drops or other types of over-the-counter ear drops into the ear. If there is a hole in the eardrum and you used these types of drops they could cause further damage.